Summer

Our 2018 Family Vacation | Bethany Beach, Delaware

It’s been so long since my family has gone on vacation together! I mean years… Between the business of life, schedules, finances, and plain and simply just not allowing ourselves to take the time to just do it and go, it was time! My parents graciously reserved a condo for us all at Sea Colony and we absolutely loved it there. We went in the third week of September when peak season was over, which, for us, was the perfect time to go. The beaches were quiet, the sun was still shining, the temperatures were perfect, and everything just felt so right. Going in the middle of the summer when there are so many people, parking lots are packed, cars are flying up and down Coastal Highway, and the beaches are swarming with peoples isn’t necessarily our idea of a relaxing vacation. :)

Tyler and I were so excited to take Bax to the beach for the first time! He doesn’t like to swim but we knew he’d love visiting a new place because he’s always up for an adventure. :) He was all stoked and ready to go with his bandanna and bags packed!

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Our trip down was great… we always love crossing over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge especially when the weather is nice!

My parents are so cute, they were outside of the condo building waiting for us to arrive and help us with our things!

Our place was so adorable, fresh, clean, and had the perfect amount of space for us!

That evening after we settled in and enjoyed a spaghetti dinner together, we went out onto the beach! It felt so good to have our toes in the sand and have the entire beach to ourselves. Sea Colony’s beach is private so we were literally the only ones out there and it was awesome.

Seeing Baxter’s face was hilarious! He looooved bolting around the beach and would run into the surf but then quickly get scared of the water and charge back out pretending he wasn’t afraid at all, it was adorable. Little by little he’d get more and more adventurous with the water but he’s only 30 lbs so we didn’t want him going too far in! But luckily he stayed close. It was so much fun. My parents got Tyler a Spider Man kite lol so we flew that and just hung out together… it was so nice!

I woke up and watched the sun come up over the ocean every single morning which was incredibly nurturing for my soul… The sun rises were absolutely beautiful!

Dad had cooked so much for us, something he loves to do. He made his famous french toast, which was amazing as always… We spent our time reading, walking the beach, lounging, and just enjoying being together.

Mid week, Mary and Gordon came down to visit and so we exchanged portraits together on the beach and went out to dinner afterwards! We had such a great time with them!

Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Rich also got a place for the week so we had fun with them too! The tidal pool was up all week long so we enjoyed just sitting our chairs right in it while we soaked up the sun!

We were also able to see our good friends the Reeses, midweek, and all go out to dinner together!

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We spent some time at the end of the week taking family pictures on the beach! Uncle Rich found a blow fish! My parents had celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary during the week so it was special for me to take a few nice pictures of them. :)

We feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family with whom to spend time like this. We felt so refreshed coming back home, and can’t wait to be back hopefully next year! We are so grateful for this time spent together!

Chrissie & Justin : Timeless & Classic Wedding | St. Casimir Church and Sagamore Pendry Hotel - Baltimore, Maryland

Chrissie and Justin grew up about ten minutes from each other, having never crossed paths until after college when they met through mutual friends! The week that Chrissie graduated with her Master’s, Justin planned for a helicopter ride over Baltimore City to celebrate. As she was taking a picture of the Domino Sugar sign out the helicopter window, Justin got out of his seat and onto one knee, asking her to marry him. Of course she said yes!

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I love how they have photos of this moment! And each one is so perfect! Justin and the Pilot obviously nailed it. :)


Photographing Chrissie & Justin's wedding gave me my first experience at the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore. I couldn’t wait to photograph there; it met every single one of my expectations. This hotel is stunningly timeless and so impressive in it's features and style. To me it's the perfect size, large enough to feel grand and refined but most definitely carries an intimate feel. When we were upstairs in the ballroom during the reception, I almost felt like we were on an old cruise ship like the Titanic. 

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I did a little research about it to find out it’s history. This structure was built for just over a million bucks, almost to the date of the wedding on August 20, 1914 (the wedding was on the 18th) as a commercial pier and served as a landing point for thousands of immigrants for years thereafter. In the 90's, the building was used for TV police show sets as well as the Art School in Step Up. It's rebuild has been attempted by multiple developers but they just didn't have the financing needed to make it what it is today... The pilings needed to be replaced, and there were hundreds of thousands worth of work to remove asbestos and lead paint, which was a pretty large undertaking as we can imagine! It was designed by New York and Baltimore-based architects, constructed by Whiting Turner, with the interior designed by Patrick Sutton Design. It's been interesting to read up on the history of this iconic Baltimore landmark... Imagine the immigrants coming into the harbor and meeting there, kids playing on the rooftop, the sounds of the boats, rippling of the water, old cars casually passing by down the cobblestone streets... pretty cool to picture, isn't it?

Source: Wikipedia

Naturally my favorite detail of the Pendry is the sculpture entitled “Rituals” that welcomes guests as they step from the cobblestones into the hotel… It’s my favorite because I love the movement, simplistic yet intricate shapes, and the way it reminds me of ships or waves of the inner harbor, but also because my cousin is the artist! I had the opportunity to document as he worked on a few pieces just before it was finished…

I’m so proud of him, he’s so talented and has such a unique style to his work! It was so fun to say, “my cousin created that!”

Adam has sculptures all around Baltimore (as well as other parts of the country), including  Lululemon Athletica Harbor East and inside the Four Seasons hotel.

www.adamscottcook.com

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To me, the Pendry was magnificent. Again, I loved how intimate it felt all while carrying such a grand presence. The lights that hung above the concierge desk were exquisite, and the elevator doors were breathtaking! The restaurant, bar, pool, and sitting areas were all just so timelessly stunning.

The girls were getting ready in a suite that overlooked Brown’s Wharf Fells Point. I always love being with the bride and bridesmaids as they get ready, listening to the exciting conversations of anticipation, all of the beauty and girl talk, and just experiencing all of the joy right alongside them.

Chrissie was waiting to give her dad a beautiful handkerchief at their first look, pictured below. I loved her Badgley Mischka flats, and her gorgeous engagement ring!

I love that little sequence above as Sue (Chrissie’s mom) walked in, ready in her beautiful dress. She and Joy, Justin’s mom, both wore navy and looked beautiful!

Seth (Shutter & Sound’s videographer) and I headed up to see Justin and the guys as they finished getting ready, soon before it was time to load into the buses and head to St. Casimir’s! They all looked so handsome, I love the look of a classic tuxedo…

Chrissie’s gorgeous Justin Alexander dress from Betsy Robinson’s Bridal was waiting beautifully in the window for her to step inside… It fit her absolutely perfectly. Her sister Heather and her mom made the finishing touches before it was time to Jerry to come in and see his little girl for the firs time…

As Chrissie stood by the window taking it all in, I said to her, “It’s your wedding day - how do you feel?” and she took a second and said, “I feel…” and then let out a little sigh, looked down at her dress, and then outside with the most calm, reflective, beautifully sure expression. This was her moment to stop for a minute and ponder it all… She was about to become a wife. She then looked at me and smiled beautifully, just so incredibly happy and complete.

And then Jerry came in… We were all tearing up as this moment couldn’t have been sweeter. Chrissie needed her daddy’s handkerchief as he opened the one she gave to him.

After spending some time with her dad, Chrissie headed out to see her girls! Their reaction was priceless… They showered her with compliments and couldn’t get over how beautiful she was!

It was time for the ceremony! We hopped onto a bus to go to St. Casimir’s Church for the ceremony. It was traditional, heart-felt, tender, and even had a few laughs!

After the ceremony, we headed to Canton Waterfront Park for a few bridal party shots before going back to the Pendry. The weather was perfect for being outside!

The ballroom was setup beautifully with flower arrangements by Rosemary & Rust! The cake was created by Charm City Cakes. You could just smell that sweet buttercream!

Their reception was a blast, and I mean BLAST. The Bachelor Boys Band kept everyone moving and dancing, never playing a single slow song (except for parent dances of course). All of their guests were having the time of their lives, and it showed… Hardly anyone was seated! There was one guy who was using his beer bottle as a trumpet which was absolutely HYSTERICAL… We had a neck-tie limbo, Chrissie & Justin lifted up on chairs, and sooo much more…

The Pendry is gorgeous during the day, but at night it’s illuminated beautifully, so I made sure to get out and snap a few shots from the streets to capture that too… And Chrissie, Justin, and I stepped out for a coupe quick portraits on the grand red staircase.

At the end of the night, the guests lined the steps and blew bubbles for them to walk through!

Afterwards, they were off to Italy and let me tell you - it was hard for me not to book a trip of my own after following along with theirs via Instagram! Maybe one day Tyler and I will have the chance to spend time there, tasting the delicious cuisine and seeing the sights they saw!

It was such a day to remember in every way… I wish these two nothing but the absolute best and can’t wait to see where life takes them together…

Cheers to the new Mr. & Mrs. Boy!

Harry & Winston : A Summer Afternoon with the Twins | Baltimore, Maryland Lifestyle Family Photographer

I’ve been photographing these two little guys since they were in their mommy’s tummy! I love spending time with them and their mama and dad - good family friends of ours whom we’ve known for years… I couldn’t wait to spend the afternoon hanging out with these adorable twin boys doing what they love to do in the summer time!

We started with some perfectly ripe watermelon on the back patio by the pool before they decided it was time for their mommy to set up their bouncy house! :)

It’s no easy task getting this thing together… Chrissy hauled it from the garage, plugged it in, blew it up, all while the boys excitedly repeated “bouncy house!” until it was time to jump in… They were so happy, it was so cute!

Their little laughs are the sweetest and the way they play together is adorable to watch. It’s amazing to me how fast they’ve grown and how much they can say now! They were calling me Kir like their mommy does and interacting so much more which of course melted my heart!

They were ready to get their little swimmies on and go for a dive in the pool. They were the cutest little fishies, loved the water, and jumping in over and over again together. Of course it was adorable…

It started to get chilly so it was time to get out and go inside for dinner! Next time I see them they’ll be even bigger and able to do even more… This is why I love what I do so much because I get to watch as families grow.

Lots of love to the Wohltmann family! What a fun session this was. :)

Jordan & Brian : Laid Back Engagement Session | Towson, Maryland

I love these two! They have an infectiously fun vibe that makes you want to just forget about anything you have to do and just kick back with a cocktail or two and have some fun just being. But their care-free spirits don't mean they don't also get things done! Jordan just graduated with her Bachelors on top of working three jobs, and Brian works hard in commercial real estate, which is what my husband does and I know that line of work takes a lot of time and effort! I had so much fun with them and am excited to share my favorite images from their shoot and tell a bit about their story...

They met the Kent House Irish Pub in Towson, Maryland where Jordan's worked for over 6 years now. When they met and were getting to know each other, they discovered the fact that they had a love for rugby in common, and that Jordan's dad coached Brian. They may have even played rugby together as kids and din't even know it, and are still currently on the hunt for potentially proving photographs. :) Rugby is still a big part of their lives now. Fitz plays for the Baltimore Chesapeake RFC, and Jordan does the social media for his team. He's won Player's Choice and Most Valuable Back for two years in a row! 

They've been dating for over 5 years as of 4/21 and plan to get married on 4/20 next year which is special to be married just about to the date that you officially became a couple. Together they have an adorable black lab Ruca who came along for the shoot of course. They love to bar hop around Baltimore, go to the beach, and eat seafood... but their favorite thing to do is laugh

So once I arrived, they ordered cheese fries and a couple of Guinness draughts (they have such great taste) and I'm not gonna lie, it all looked pretty dang delish... especially the beer! They hung out together and shared a couple of whiskeys, loved on Ruca a bit, and snuggled in the cute little window seat...

Afterwards, we headed to Loch Raven reservoir to watch as the sun set. Ruca came for the first little bit, but then Fitz put her back in their truck so they could finish out the session together more intimately... 

Ruca loved sniffing all of the smells and watching the geese so much that she jumped out of the back truck window (that they thought was closed, thank God she was safe because they'd parked across the road from where we were, but I'm sure she looked both ways before crossing......). We looked up and saw this black blur bolting back down to the water! Knowing she was safe, it was hilarious, but Fitz had to catch her and take her back up to the truck. She was so disappointed and just wanted to explore... lol!

We finished out the session with a little fun in the water, tossing the rugby ball around of course, which ironically said "Guinness" on it, and enjoyed the sun set... 

The scene was literally out of the notebook movie or something... It was beautiful. I am so happy to photograph for these two and can't wait for April to come!! Their day is going to be so much fun and I can hardly stand to wait for it! 

Brittany & Nick : Vintage-inspired Summer Wedding | Gettysburg, PA

It's like their love story came straight from a storybook... They met in a bar, while Brit and her friend were casually getting a drink. Brit's friend knew him through her older brothers, so she introduced them and they all chatted for a while... A few days later, he came into the bar where she worked and asked her to have a drink one night. She was reluctant to say yes at first, but was glad she did when they closed the bar down, talking for hours and hours getting to know each other. He left a couple days later (Nick is a Major in the Air Force) and she headed back to Nashville to continue her dream of becoming a singer-songwriter. That next Christmas, they both came home and spent every moment together, taking things slow though during the months thereafter. By the following year, they were a couple and couldn't deny the connection they shared. 

They spent the next five years in a long-distance relationship, spending date nights FaceTiming and watching movies together over the phone. Texts, calls, and letters kept their relationship strong, and their bond continued to grow. These two are such romantics too, which I love. And not the cheesy kind, but the everything happens for a reason and each little thing has meaning kind... They love each other so deeply and it's inspiring to be around. They care so much for each other and their families and friends and wanted their wedding day to reflect that. And it did! 

Brittany got ready at her mom's home with her friends and some family members. She greeted with me with a gorgeous smile and a hug of course, with her hair curled and pinned back above her left ear, and the perfect red lip only she could pull off! Her BHLDN dress was perfectly vintage with a hint of Gatsby, just as she wanted, and fit her like a glove... And her girls' dresses were intricate and beautiful, going along with the theme. She wore her mother's pearls, and these adorable shoes she found at a thrift shop! I fell in love with her rose gold engagement ring too. And can you believe she made all of the invitations herself?

Brittany's mom Renee helped her get dressed and gave her a beautiful letter and Pandora bead, something she gifts Brittany at every special event. It was so sweet and special. Then Stacey, Nick's brother's wife (who's also an amazingly talented newborn and family photographer out of Gettysburg - who actually referred Brittany and Nick my way - thank you Stacey!!) was there of course with her daughter Bailey. They came in and gave Brit a gift from Nick, a pretty pearl bracelet. Then Brittany's dad Jamie came in to see his little girl... That moment was so sweet!

Brittany wrote a song for Nick to play during the reception and started practicing it just before leaving for the ceremony. Stacey popped her head into the doorway and started to tear up. I love Brittany's smile while she's looking at her new sister...

I headed over to Stacey's house where the ceremony and reception were going to take place in just a few hours... Family members were in every corner of the house and outside property getting the last few details together: desserts, chairs, drinks, ice, and more... Nick and the groomsmen hung out with a few beers in the living room until it was time for Brittany and Nick to do their back-to-pack personal vow reading together. Brittany made a scrapbook for Nick (she's seriously amazing and put so much work into every element of this day...) so he opened that just before their vow exchange, while Brittany was giving her song one more practice run while waiting for Nick. They didn't see each other of course, but we had them meet in Stacey's studio to exchange their sweet words together. It was so tender and precious to watch... 

It was time for the ceremony to begin, so the guests walked down into the open field where chairs were set up by a pretty canopy of beads and tulle. Brit walked down to her own recording of a Coldplay cover, "Yellow", which is her absolutely favorite color (which is why Jamie her father took it upon himself to wear a yellow bow-tie and suspenders for the wedding, how sweet is that..) so that was playing as she walked down from the house to the aisle. Nick started to cry and the moment was just breathtaking for everyone to witness. 

Their ceremony was so heart-felt and a true reflection of their faith in God and in the love they have for one another. It was beautiful.... At one point they turned around to look at everyone their, loving them and celebrating in their joy with them. Their pastor talked about how Nick is more analytical and Brit is more "fly by the seat of her pants", and together, they balance each other well. 

A family friend brought a vintage car for photos which was awesome! So after taking a couple minutes inside for a toast of champagne and to cool off from the hot sun, we took full advantage of the setting golden sun and photographed portraits by their field and the car... 

Jamie led everyone in a welcoming and thankful prayer before we all had dinner and mingled together. After some dancing, Brittany's beautiful song to Nick, and dessert (which their family members had all made!), Nick's father Bruce set off fireworks from the field for all to see! It was awesome.. Fireworks are definitely his thing! 

During the reception I had a chance to talk a bit with Brittany's dad. He said to me proudly, "you know, I'm her father so I feel biased of course, but Brittany really is the kind of person you want as your friend, or your neighbor.... She's just good people." He's so right. She just glows with kindness and a heart for other people. Nick is the same way, complimenting her perfectly.

The evening carried on with dancing, a few speeches, and all of their friend and family in fellowship together under the stars! 

I am so grateful to have been part of this day... There were so many beautiful moments I'll never forget. Nick and Brittany are definitely special and have a love that will take them to some incredible places in their life ahead. Can't wait to see what that looks like for them!

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Dress: BLHDN
Designer: Mignon
Shoes: Unique-vintage.com
Tux: Express
Bow ties: Brackish
Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell, Adian Mattox, various
Hair & Makeup: Jess Brown, Meraki Salon
Invitations: EastCutPrintPD, Etsy (downloadable cricut template)
DJ: Chachi Angelo